The adoption of the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative by the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations (G-8) at their June 8-10 summit in Sea Island, Georgia represents a diplomatic victory for the United States. The initiative, however, is extremely unlikely to have a noticeable impact on political reform in the Middle East.
Many in the U.S. who supported the Iraq war are now backing away from it. They blame the debacle on unforeseeable mistakes by the Bush administration. But the failure in Iraq also reflects deeper flaws in US political culture - the belief in the possibility of successful adoption of democracy by all the peoples of the world and simultaneous contempt for the cultures and opinions of those peoples.
If America engages in any more imperial military adventures like the one in Iraq, the long-term consequence may be the collapse of Western democracy, or of the globalized economic system on which American imperial power rests, or both. Patriots and democrats should be doing everything in their power to devise new strategies that will avoid such devastating outcomes.
Ukraine’s October 2004 presidential elections amount to a clear-cut choice between democracy and dictatorship. The U.S. is well liked and highly influential in Ukraine, and can influence that country’s choice. The main objective for U.S. policy on Ukraine should be to support democracy. If democracy is secured, Ukraine is most likely to choose a Western geopolitical orientation.
Professor Mustapha Kamel al Sayyid analyzed various political reform movements in the Arab world.